Saturday, August 31, 2013

Los Angeles

With my great companions!
With President and Sister Weidman

 All of our mail goes to the mission home. We get it on Fridays at district meeting. They don't keep all visa waiters together but there are 3 of us in the same ward and 4 of us in the same district. 2 elders that are visa waiters going to Brazil are in my ward and they came here on Wed. too. I didn't know them in the MTC but it has been nice seeing them! There is one elder in my district going to Argentina and he has been here for 6 months on wait.

I am in a trio. Sister H (from Alpine, UT  and has been out for 8 months) and Sister  P(from Mexico city and going home in Dec.). They are actually both training me. I told someone that I must need two people to train me and keep me in line! Sister H. told me and a bunch of other people that I don't need to be trained. I laughed and said I definitely do. (Btw, her brother is in the Dover DE stake and is his ward's YM's pres.). Small world! They are super sweet and I absolutely love them! We are all 3 a lot alike and have so much in common! They are actually also Sister Training Leaders. They keep telling me that once I get to Brazil I will train and be a STL! Ha! We do get to have language study. Actually, it's funny because between the 3 of us we are learning 3 languages! Portuguese, Sister H is learning Spanish, and Sister L P is learning English! They were both called to the Visitor's Center but at least here you can be called to go full-field and they obviously were. To be a visitor center missionary you are in the MTC for an extra week for training so I won't be that. I was there the other day, though, when my comps had a meeting, so I just stayed with some sisters in the VC.  We were in a lesson with some elders and the man speaks Farsi and is from Iran and had a translator, but anyway, he committed to baptism!!! That was the first person I saw commit! I was super excited! I think I was more excited than anyone else! Ha!
There aren't any Portuguese branches but there are some Portuguese speakers around. I haven't met them yet, but Sister L P told me it is her personal goal to find me a Portuguese speaker! B/c we are all learning different languages they understand needing to use it, so I pray in Portuguese most of the time even when it's with them too. We all try to pray as much as possible in our mission language. I actually got to speak a little to a guy that was at a dinner appointment on Thursday or Friday ( I can't remember). He is from Macedonia but he knows a bunch of different languages and he saw my nametag and I said a little in Portuguese to him. He thought it was funny that I was practicing on him!
My mission president and his wife are amazing! President and Sister Wiedman  are super sweet and love the missionaries so much! They are new so they have been here for about 2 months. When I had my interview with President he talked to me about sign language. I got a little worried... There aren't any ASL sisters in the mission but if there were I think he would have put me there since I have taken it and there aren't any Portuguese wards. I am in an English one btw. I don't think I've written that yet.

Our temple pday is in 2 weeks (actually I just realized that I think it is the week of my bday!) I am super excited! The LA temple is gorgeous and HUGE! The second largest!
LA hasn't felt humid at all! It feels great b/c there is always a breeze! Oh, I didn't tell you that my first area is Hollywood! We have Beverly Hills in our area too.  The food is fine and pretty easy to handle (at least it has been thus far).  I actually really like the trio but it helps because we are all 3 so much alike. My comps have actually trained before (TOGETHER)! They trained a sister RIGHT after Sister H finished being trained and then they had 2 transfers apart and are now back together When  Sister H was being trained and when they were apart for 3 months, they were in the same ward's, so they have spent Sister H's entire mission at least around each other!
We are CLAM (contacting less active members) hunting in the area. There are 7 missionaries in the ward and we are all new to it. There are 3 of us as Brazil visa waiters. We are mostly contacting less actives, contacting former investigators and gaining the trust of the members. They had 2 elders before but we feel like they need to trust missionaries more. We are excited for all of the work that lies ahead! We were in the store the other day and a man thought I worked there b/c he saw my nametag! Ha! My comps we laughing so hard about it afterwards!
The ward has about 110 actives and over 850 less actives so we have A LOT to do. They are sweet and they seem super excited to have sisters, especially the single women b/c they can have us over and feed us. We met with a Thai woman (recent convert) that is honestly the most amazing woman! She is so sweet and her testimony is so strong! She doesn't know everything but she KNOWS the BOM is true and the church is true and that is enough for her. She doesn't expect to be able to explain everything. She is such an inspiration to me!. We also met with a woman who took the lessons a few months back. She is having a hard time but wants to learn more and take the lessons again. She inspires me because she is going through so much yet her faith is unfailing and she knows that everything happens for a reason.
We have a few service opportunities this week and we hope to have some more with the members and less actives. It has just been amazing!
I love and miss you!
Sister Tanton

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